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Come and be a better parent in the trenches! Thread 2

(965 Posts)
BertieBotts Sun 31-Aug-14 09:56:33

Terrible title sorry grin Next time we'll start the discussion at 900 posts, OK?

Originally started by AnotherMonkey, we are trying to improve our parenting which may include less shouting ( and positive boundary setting (, or any other goal you want. If you want to be more authoritative that's a great cause too. No judging of parenting styles allowed, honest critique OK. There is occasionally homework wink (but really, honest, we're nice and don't care if you want to skip past that bit)

Dumping of emotions/ranting after a bad day also acceptable. The saying "in the trenches" refers mainly to having 2+ under 5 but really any stage which is repetitive, challenging, soul destroying about parenting.

Books recommended so far:
How To Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
When Your Kids Push Your Buttons
The Happiness Project
Calmer Easier Happier Parenting
The Explosive Child
The Highly Sensitive Child

Please post a little intro/reminder just with your DCs ages/stages and any extra challenges - a couple of us have relocated abroad, that kind of thing.

AnotherMonkey Sun 31-Aug-14 10:03:20

Brilliant, thanks Bertie grin

That's so much better than I would have done x

AnotherMonkey Sun 31-Aug-14 10:04:12

Oh and 2 DCs: DS newly 5 and DD 2.

DreamingOfAFullNightsSleep Sun 31-Aug-14 10:24:16

Ace bertie 3 dc here. DD, turns 4 in a mere 10 days and the dts who are nearly 29 months. (And nowhere near potty training another !!)

AnotherMonkey Sun 31-Aug-14 10:24:36

Ah we're in a different section... Link to old thread:

BertieBotts Sun 31-Aug-14 10:39:03

Oh oops! I thought the old one was in parenting. Shall I ask for it to be moved?

I have one DS who is about to turn 6, we moved to Germany a year ago.

Purpleflamingos Sun 31-Aug-14 10:42:00

I'm in. Ds is just 5yrs and dd is 3yrs. I haven't shouted today but they have been threatened with sitting on the side during gymnastics and missing their lesson if they don't behave (stop hurting each other). It's worked since 6:40am with two gentle reminders.

Mrsfrumble Sun 31-Aug-14 15:41:52

I think Parenting is the perfect place for the thread. After all, it's really about us, not the children!

My DCs are a girl of 22 months and a boy of 3.9. My "additional challenge" is that we moved from London to the Southern USA last year for DH's work. We haven't managed to build up any sort of support network yet and DH works long hours, so I'm alone with the children for 11-12 hours a day during the week (longer on Mondays when DH has band practice). My plan was to get DS in to a part time nursery or preschool and to learn to drive. I haven't managed either yet sad.

As for today; my morning started well when DH actually volunteered to get up with the children so I got a very rare lie-in. Then DS decided to cut his own fringe, so it's off to the hairdressers for us this afternoon! I'm gutted; he has beautiful thick, silky, bright copper-red hair in a Beatle-esque mop top, and had cut a big chunk really short so it will all have to go.

DishesToDoWineFirst Sun 31-Aug-14 20:06:26

bertie thanks for getting this new thread up, good name smile

Just the one DS here, almost 4yo. Wondering if he'll end up with dx of something developmental but since the first thread started we have seen loads of changes in him. And us!

Started out with reflux / colic, cried and didn't sleep much up until last year really. Many many tantrums and meltdowns, not so much now. Strong willed. Stroppy. Lots of big feelings. Took an age to settle in at nursery. Hard to tell how much he understands.

More and more language coming now, a helpful streak, sometimes very gentle and loving, sense of humour, mischevious! So on the up and up mainly now but god the strain has been enormous and I was well down in the trench for a while.

Those of you with more than one DC (esp under five) and/or relocated to other countries... I think you are incredible smile

DishesToDoWineFirst Sun 31-Aug-14 20:12:15

And welcome flamingo and mrsfrumble smile

Letsgoforawalk Sun 31-Aug-14 20:29:55

Well done bertie , great intro. My DCs are DD1 fully grown and flown the nest, DD2 14 and DD3 12. It may seem strange that I'm on a thread mostly populated by parents of toddlers and preschoolers. But they are nice here, and no one has thrown me out yet.

I remember well the days that I had two young ones and a young teenager and how difficult I found that at times. My younger children continue to present a challenge in very individual ways and I think puberty and that growing up phase has similar issues (struggle for independence, tantrums, communication challenges) as toddlerhood. They are quicker at getting their shoes on these days though wink

Hello to flamingo and frumble smile you are very welcome.

Mrsfrumble Sun 31-Aug-14 21:28:01

Here's the demon barber himself after a professional salvaged his locks. Owners of small boys, when the heck do they stop hamming for the camera? We haven't managed to take a nice natural photo of him for about a year now....

Dishes, your DS sounds rather like mine. "Big Feelings" is a good description of what's going on with him, and I do wonder if there's something more to his behaviour sometimes. DD is much more easy going, but is starting to throw the occasional tantrum because, well, she's nearly 2!

jigglebum Sun 31-Aug-14 21:49:18

Thanks for the new thread bertie and welcome to the newbies. I have a DS 6 and a DD nearly 3 - both of which could be described as "spirited" children. They are confident, strong willed and intelligent - all great traits for later life but hard to parent! letsgo - definitely please stay - your great words of wisdom from beyond the young DC age are really valued.

jigglebum Sun 31-Aug-14 21:49:54

Love the picture mrsf !

AnotherMonkey Sun 31-Aug-14 22:03:05

Hey a picture! grin that's a great rescue job, it looks good, frumble !

Hi everyone. Bertie I was going to say yes, let's move this thread, just so posters from the old thread can find us more easily, sorry frumble! <awkward wink > A similar thread has been started in the Parenting section already, I think.

We've had a great weekend, after hitting my lowest point in a long time on Friday. Having DH around and getting some one-on-one time with each of them has really helped. DS is back to school this week and I'm warming up to working proper hours again; can feel my brain creaking back into action! This summer has been a roller coaster, but overall I'm going to miss them like mad.

My two had their first, proper, words only argument today. It went roughly like this:

DD: DS! STOP it!

DS: no! YOU stop it!

DD: no! YOU stop it!

DS: NO! YOU stop it!

DD: noooooo YOU s..... you get the picture. It went on for considerably longer than this but yay no physical injuries. It's a milestone...

bertie how did your day go?

AppleCrumples Sun 31-Aug-14 22:23:43

Ooh shiney new thread, need to keep up this time dcs all driving me nuts again..think its end of holidays ...err something!

I have 4 2 boys nearly 11 & 8 and 2 girls 6 & 20 months.

Looking forward to getting some routine back with school but will miss having some time to 'be' with them.

I'm really struggling with the fighting at the moment, ds2 in particular just won't listen when asked to stop winding everyone up. Maybe they just need some space from each other though?!

MoreSnowPlease Sun 31-Aug-14 22:24:46

Oh I think I need this thread please!

I have a spirited whirlwind Ds1 who's just turned 2 and a ds2 who arrived 6 weeks ago smile

Actually I'm not as bad as I thought I would be but I will get worse, I am still in adrenaline mode after birth of ds2 at the moment so seem to have the energy to be an ok parent most of the time.

My additional challenges are that about a week after ds2 arrived I decided to potty train ds1, move him into his own bed and room having always been in our bed and stop breastfeeding him in the night....because I like a challenge hmm

At the same time ds2 won't breastfeed at all so I am expressing constantly. ..why?! Because I can't let go of the hope that he will breastfeed eventually and I will be able to lie in bed and sleep through night feeds, feed him to sleep, stop washing bottles, walk out of the house without feeding equipment etc be lazy again.

Ds1 is a real live wire and needs to expend a lot of energy outside but I am having trouble making it out at all most days and I'd like to improve that for his sake. Also, I shout a lot and get in these rages where I can't cope especially if there is noise coming at me from different places which obviously happens a lot. I don't know how to overcome that really. ..any pearls of wisdom?

AnotherMonkey Sun 31-Aug-14 22:42:43

Hi crumples and welcome moresnowplease smile

Also, I shout a lot and get in these rages where I can't cope especially if there is noise coming at me from different places which obviously happens a lot.

Oh my goodness, YES. Even small things like having sound on when I'm working or DH's habit of leaving on every radio in the house are jarring to me. So the constant screaming/shouting/mummymummymummy does act like water torture sometimes.

GingerSkin Sun 31-Aug-14 22:51:23

I would like to join you all. I have one dd 3yo, individual, cheeky and defiant.

I've not shouted today which is a miracle and she's been very high maintainence but we've coped.

I read some random blog the other day and unusually, something stuck - say 'yes' more often. So, rather than 'no dd, we're not having Mr Tumble on again' I would say 'yes dd, when you have put the jigsaws and other toys away that you have got out, you can have Mr Tumble on'

I'm trying. It's hard and I shouted lots last week which I know is counter productive as she mirrors my behaviour then. It's been a rough few weeks with her, I'm hoping pre-school (starts this week) will shape her a little.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Sep-14 08:49:20

Welcome newbies smile

MoreSnow I hope you're getting support from the BF section on here, they really are brilliant. Also if you have a La Leche League group near you they're very good as well.

I'm enjoying the peace and quiet grin Although didn't have a great start as DS decided his bag was tooo heavy and gave a load of attitude about shoes, coat, etc and we ended up shouting at each other so he now has a screen ban, which is probably unfair because I was shouting too, but eh, he was being really rude to me. It was more for that than the shouting.

It is decidedly COLD in the mornings now too which I am grumpy about. DH thinks it's a great move to pull the covers off me too if he thinks I'm taking too long which I have explained just makes me want to hurt him and/or grab the covers back and curl up for even longer but he seems totally deaf to this and insists it's helpful. GGGGRRR.

Sorry for just chatting with normal not particularly parenting related stuff. Am not awake yet, need coffee.

PseudoBadger Mon 01-Sep-14 08:56:05

Hello, I hope it's ok if I lurk for a while and absorb some wisdom? DS is 3 years 6 months and can be quite challenging. Dd is just about 11 months and walks, and has been moving constantly in some form or another since 5 months. I spend my days stopping one bothering the other. I'm tired!

mandbaby Mon 01-Sep-14 09:15:51

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to the newbies.

I have two DSs - one aged 4yr10m (who starts school tomorrow - yippee!) and a 3yr2m old. I'm also 37 weeks pregnant with DC3. I definitely have my hands full and as such I've been the mother from hell these last few weeks. I'm now utterly fed up of being pregnant and getting next to no sleep and unfortunately the rest of the house bears the brunt of my already low tolerance levels.

Speaking of DS1 starting school, he was set some homework over the summer holidays (basically, it's a booklet to tell his teacher more about him - who his family is, his likes/dislikes, what he's got up to over the summer, etc). Two of the questions were:

1. What makes you happy?
2. What makes you sad?

His answers? 1. When Mummy plays with me. And No 2. When Mummy shouts at me. sad

Going back to the last few replies on the "old" thread and the need to get off the computer/phone/ipad and interact with our children, DS1s answers really struck a chord with me as I know that I'm really guilty of picking up my phone far too frequently. I suppose when you're at home all day with no adult interaction, it's far too easy to just pick up the nearest gadget and start browsing, especially during a "quieter" moment when the kids are occupied. But then the moment they want our attention, we resent it because we're so engrossed in reading something on the internet.

It's a horrible, horrible habit that I hate and know I do it far more than I should. My DH is also guilty of it. Part of my reluctance to "give it up" or use my phone less is the fact that I know he wont. He's on his phone way more than me and it bugs the hell out of me.

Bertie and anyone else guilty of becoming too reliant on our phones/tablets/laptops, how about we go cold turkey together? Or at least wean ourselves off it? Baby steps at first, for example. Give ourselves 15 minutes in a morning whilst having breakfast, then stay off it until a certain time in the day and limit the time then. When the kids are in bed, it's unlimited usuage, but between the hours of 7 til 7 try to limit it to only 1 hour? Do you reckon that's doable?

AnotherMonkey Mon 01-Sep-14 15:57:49

Hi gingerskin and pseudobadger

bertie that would make me want to strangle my DH too.

mandbaby you're right about the tendency to keep picking up my phone. I might join your experiment to see how much I miss it (I think I may be in denial about quite how much I check it).

There are three things I really want to consider over the coming weeks:

1) this 'self care' issue is really important and while this week has been a good start, it's something I need to keep making an effort with. In the Mother Trip, it says something along the lines of 'kids need interesting parents' and this is so true. I'm ready to start finding my own interests again.

2. I need to slow down with my kids. This was a recent aha blog post. It's been so crazy for the last couple of years that I just don't see stuff sometimes.

3. Understandably, given the last couple of years, my confidence has taken such a battering. I find socialising quite hard work (possibly because I used to socialise with a brain at full capacity and a bottle of wine) and I often feel judged and inadequate when I'm out with my DCs. And you know what, I'm NOT a bad parent and I need to start building some of that confidence back up again.

Hmm... where to start!!

Letsgoforawalk Mon 01-Sep-14 18:36:54

Ok homework already, this thread has hit the ground running smile
I'm in with the less technology challenge. We need to think creatively about how to fill the the void left afterwards though. I'm going to steadily work on getting dingy corners of the house cleared of "stuff". I can take advantage of the "new term" feeling that has dampened my strong hoarder tendencies and throw stuff out while I can.
I find it helps to set the timer on whatever device you are using, and when it bings off it goes. That way you decide before you start how much time you 'need' and get a bit more focused.
If I disappear mid sentence you'll know my timer has gone wink This also lets me know how the DCs feel when I tell them it is screens off time and I can genuinely empathise and not put myself in hypocrite position by tapping away whilst telling them to stop.

bertie I hope the coffee helped. I agree that pulling the duvet off is a bad idea. He should bring you a nice cuppa instead.
monkey look at what you do with this thread! you are brill. Don't let that brain of yours tell you any different. We know what you can do. brew cake.
I'm about to go bing, see you all tomorrow !

HicDraconis Mon 01-Sep-14 19:49:10

Does anyone mind if I lurk / join in? Have two fantastic boys and every morning I wake up determined not to shout / get angry - and every day I fail sad

They are 8 & 6 - and they just won't do as they're told. I'll ask the 8 year old to get dressed and he will sit there absorbed in his kindle until I've asked 3 times at which point I snap. The 6 year old interrupts constantly - which winds DH up - and likewise will need to be asked to do things 5 times before it happens (eg get socks on, put lunchbox in bag) so we're rushed and time stressed in the mornings.

I work ft, feel guilty for not seeing them in the day, miss them desperately at work and then get cross when I do see them sad

Also going to join the phone down challenge as I am on it far too often and need to be giving them my attention.

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